Setting the IMAP Path Prefix on your iPhone

When you first set up your iPhone to check your email hosted with InMotion Hosting, it’s possible you will not see the Sent, Trash, Drafts, and Junk folders. Typically, these folders are in your INBOX and you’ll need to set the prefix path for it to work correctly.

How to set the prefix path

  1. If you set up the IMAP mail account on your iPhone, you may not find the IMAP folders in your Inbox folder. If this is the case, you’ll need to specify the IMAP path prefix.
  2. You can enter in the IMAP path prefix by going to Settings > Mail > Account > Advanced > IMAP Path Prefix.
  3. Enter the word “INBOX” (use all caps) and save the setting. Now, your folders should appear as subfolders in the Inbox.
Carrie Smaha
Carrie Smaha Senior Manager Marketing Operations

Carrie enjoys working on demand generation and product marketing projects that tap into multi-touch campaign design, technical SEO, content marketing, software design, and business operations.

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15 thoughts on “Setting the IMAP Path Prefix on your iPhone

  1. Apart from the ‘special’ folders Arn refers to, AFAIK it’s not possible to sync folder A and not B. It’s just not how IMAP works, it’s not an option of the IMAP protocol. That is: I’ve never seen it in any mail client.

  2. As TJEdens suggests; You probably have your mail accounts set up as POP. Therefore, your mailclients get the mail messages from the mail server inbox – and that’s it. Maybe they will erase old mail after some time, depending on your set up, but no more.

    To syncronize folders etc you need to set your accounts up as IMAP.

  3. Hi i am using apple phone and apple notebook and configured outlook for mail access. My problem is after i see mails in my phone, I move the same to some folder, but again when my use my notebook, all the mails that i have seen are loaded in my inbox. I need to move them again to respective folders.

    What is need is, is there a way to sync my folder contents between my phone and my notebook mail folders so that i need not to duplicate my work.

    1. Hello Karthi,

      If you are using IMAP and you update folder listings on one system, you should only have to do a send/receive to update on the next system as that is how IMAP operates.

      Best Regards,
      TJ Edens

  4. Could anyone please advise how to synchronize specific IMAP folders with iphone 4, but not all folders.

    Many thanks


    1. Hello Howard,

      Check out subscribing to folders in Mac Mail. Though the version doesn’t quite match, it will still be the same basic process. For any IMAP setup, folders must be subscribed in order for synchronization.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  5. My boss has an Iphone 5 and also using outlook 2010 in his laptop. He has important clients emails that is going in his spam folder on his phone but does not show up in the junk folder in Outlook so he cant grant permission to them. How do you fix this?

    1. Hello Debbie,

      Thank you for your question. First make sure that the iPhone and Outlook are both setup as IMAP. Since IMAP leaves the emails on the server, both clients should see the same emails.

      Then make sure you are subscribed to the IMAP folders on both the iPhone, and Outlook.

      At this point you should see the exact same emails on Outlook and iPhone. If you are seeing something different, it is most likely a rule in that specific device.

      If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.

      Thank you,

  6. Yes, iOS Mail let’s you specify what IMAP server folder you want to use for Spam, Send, Trash, Archive and Concepts. In the IMAP Mail account settings, Advanced (I guess it’s called in English, I’m using the Dutch localisation) takes you to the screen that let’s you choose the folders for each.

    They don’t have to be subfolders of your Inbox, as far as iOS is concerned, this depends on your mailserver.

    1. Hello Andre,

      I don’t believe the iPhone allows you to sync any specific IMAP folders, so it will only try the Inbox and the sub-folders of it when the path prefix is defined.

      On almost every IMAP server that I’m aware of, all folders are going to be sub-folders of the Inbox folder. If you are seeing other folders in your mail client on the same level as the Inbox, these could possibly be local folders to your device and wouldn’t be stored on the server.

      – Jacob

  7. Hi,

    Please assist I want to set my work emial address on my phone so that i wil be able to receive emails vai my phone it samsung Galaxy so it ask me the IMAP path prefix

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